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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IPM TECHNOLOGIES FOR INSECT PESTS OF ORCHARD CROPS

Location: Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research

Title: Host plants of the sugarcane root weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in Florida sugarcane

Authors
item Odero, Dennis -
item Cherry, Ronald -
item Hall, David

Submitted to: Journal of Entomological Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 21, 2012
Publication Date: April 1, 2013
Citation: Odero, D.C., Cherry, R.H., Hall, D.G. 2013. Host plants of the sugarcane root weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in Florida sugarcane. Journal of Entomological Science. 48:81-89.

Interpretive Summary: The sugarcane root weevil, Diaprepes abbreviatus is an important sugarcane pest in the Caribbean. In 2010, two infestations of Diaprepes abbreviatus were observed causing damage to Florida sugarcane for the first time. Of interest was that these infestations appeared to be related to weeds growing in sugarcane fields. A greenhouse study was conducted to evaluate adult sugarcane root weevil (Diaprepes abbreviatus) residence (location), feeding damage, and oviposition choice on four sugarcane varieties and five weed species found in Florida sugarcane. Weed surveys conducted in three locations in Florida sugarcane showed common lambsquarters, spiny amaranth, common purslane, and sicklepod as common broadleaf weeds in sugarcane fields. We found that several weed species found in Florida sugarcane are suitable host plants for the weevil. However, sugarcane was generally more preferred for egg laying. Preventing or removing weed hosts from sugarcane fields should be a front-line of defense against the weevil.

Technical Abstract: A greenhouse study was conducted to evaluate adult sugarcane root weevil (Diaprepes abbreviatus) residence (location), feeding damage, and oviposition choice on four sugarcane varieties and five weed species found in Florida sugarcane. Sugarcane varieties were CP 89-2143, CP 88-1762, CP 80-1743, and CP 78-1628. Weed species were common lambsquarters (Chenopodium album), spiny amaranth (Amaranthus spinosus), common purslane (Portulaca oleracea), sicklepod (Senna obtusifolia), and coffee senna (Senna occidentalis). Adult residence was highest on coffee senna followed by spiny amaranth, sicklepod, and common purslane. Few adults were observed on sugarcane varieties and common lambsquarters. Adults caused feeding damage on all weed species. Coffee senna, spiny amaranth, and sicklepod had the highest feeding damage while common lambsquarters had the least damage. Little feeding damage was observed on sugarcane varieties. Oviposition of D. abbreviatus was observed on all sugarcane varieties and weed species with exception of common lambsquarters and sicklepod. Significantly more egg masses were found on sugarcane varieties compared to weed species. Weed surveys conducted in three locations in Florida sugarcane showed common lambsquarters, spiny amaranth, common purslane, and sicklepod as common broadleaf weeds in sugarcane fields. These results show that several weed species found in Florida sugarcane are suitable as food sources and oviposition sites for D. abbreviatus. However, sugarcane is generally more preferred for oviposition by D. abbreviatus. Preventing or removing weed hosts of D. abbreviatus from sugarcane fields should be a front-line of defense against the weevil.

Last Modified: 12/20/2014
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